How To Become A Paddle Board Instructor

by Kyle
How To Become A Paddle Board Instructor

Paddleboarding isn’t only a sport but also a lifestyle for those who have experienced it. Thus, paddleboarders around the world often dream of teaching others how to paddleboard.

In reality, becoming a paddleboard instructor is not as easy as it sounds.

You will quickly notice that the watersport requires a fair amount of skill, strength, and athleticism to conquer. But, as with any sport, it’s not impossible to learn.

Therefore, in this article, we will go over the process of becoming a paddleboard instructor.

A Little About Becoming A Paddle Board Instructor


The world of paddleboarding has evolved with time. It has grown to the point where the sport has branched off into many sections. Thus, it can be pretty challenging to become a paddleboarding instructor.

Fortunately, it’s still possible as long as you are willing to dedicate some time and effort. 

Moreover, to make the way smoother for you, we will discuss how to get started, the basics of paddleboarding, and the SUP terminology you will need to master.

As a bonus, we will share some tips and tricks to become a more efficient SUPing instructor.

How To Get Started As A Paddleboarding Instructor?


To begin with, you need to understand the sport of paddleboarding. You will gain a solid foundation by learning the ins and outs of SUP equipment and techniques. 

After you have grown comfortable with the SUP board and paddling gear, it’s time to master the basic rules of the watersport.

While you are at it, ensure that you pay close attention to safety measures as it’s one of the most important things you will need to teach new paddlers.

Additionally, learning the SUP terminology will assist you in teaching better and save you from potentially embarrassing situations.

So let’s take an in-depth look at these core elements of becoming a Sup instructor.

The Basic Paddleboarding Rules


The basic paddleboarding rules are essential when teaching any paddleboarding course. For instance,

  • When paddling the waves, safety is paramount. As a result, you can prepare to teach paddleboarders how to be safe on the water. 
  • It includes what they should do if their board flips over or capsize.
  • If your students are total beginners, you may need to teach them about paddle holds and paddling stance. Thus, learning and practicing these primary techniques may come in handy.
  • Afterward, you can focus on methods to teach the basic forward, backward, and sweep strokes.
  • For more seasoned paddlers, you will need to rely on J strokes and draw strokes. Mastering these advanced paddling techniques is crucial if you wish to become an effective instructor.

Aside from these, you will also need to know the various phases of paddleboarding. After all, having a deep understanding of paddling and recovery techniques will help your students survive better, even in rough weather.

In addition, you may want to get familiar with the local rules if you will be an instructor active in a specific area. 

For instance, you will need to know which water vessels get priority in what waters. Or if it’s legal to paddleboard near or far from the shores and what equipments your students might need.

All the little details may seem insignificant. Nevertheless, it would be best to share these tidbits of information with the paddleboarders when you become the instructor.

Learning The SUP Terminology

To become an instructor, besides the technical skill sets, you will need to identify the most common terms and the relevant characteristics of this watersport. Here is where learning the SUP terminology will be helpful.

Fortunately, the terms are pretty easy to learn. But, understanding them can be a bit more challenging.

For instance, SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboarding. Thus it refers to a sport. Yet, SUP can also indicate the paddleboard itself as a piece of equipment, depending on the situation.

To learn more about this terminology, check out our article, “What Does SUP Mean?

These are the very basics of becoming a SUP instructor. More advanced courses can help you on the way, but you will need to build up some experience yourself if you wish to be efficient.

Tips & Tricks To Become A Better SUP Coach


One of the best ways to become a better SUP coach is to join a paddleboard certification program.

As luck would have it, there are quite a few programs that certify future SUP instructors.

Let’s take a look,

The PSUPA Certification For Paddleboard Instructors

The PSUPA or the Professional Stand Up Paddle Association offers a SUP instructor certification program that emphasizes safety.

They can provide you with the essential resources, memberships, and even pro training. Plus, here, you will find other potential instructors to share your skills and grow together.

As a bonus, they also have a course calendar so you can better organize your schedule.

Becoming A BSUPA Instructor

The BSUPA course blends the core paddleboarding skills with fun and safe methods to tech. This way, you will become the favorite instructor of paddleboarders who wish to learn paddling skills without getting bored.

Moreover, they can give you the teaching manuals, certificate, and a BSUPA ready-to-ride card. 

However, you will need to be over 18 years of age to apply for the level 1 instructor course. After you complete it, the certificate will remain valid for three years.

The Instructor Certification From The ACA

The ACA, otherwise known as the American Canoe Association, boasts a fantastic course for paddleboard instructors.

Typically, there is little content for paddleboarders’ standard course, but the ACA course is exceptional. 

In it, you will need to attend the IWD or the Instructor Development Workshop and an Instructor Certification Exam before you can complete the course.

While these are some of the best courses, there are various other programs for paddling coaches. For instance, you can find the Academy of Surf Instructors or Water Skills Academy to bring your instructor skills to the next level.

Bottom Line For How To Become A Paddle Board Instructor

To become a paddleboard instructor, you will face challenges, but you’ll also enjoy many rewards. In the end, it will allow you to turn your passion into a profession!

As long as you follow the steps and put in some work, you will soon become a SUPing pro. Next, you may want to brush up on your paddling skills and learn the terminology so you can teach aspiring paddlers.

Even so, experience is crucial, so you should also get the assistance of certified instructors. This way, you will become more confident in managing your paddleboarding group.

So,prepare your gear and start on your journey to becoming a paddleboard instructor today!

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